The Herald caught up with Class of 2011 basketball recruit Derrick Gordon on Friday. He recently made his third visit to campus where he met President Gary Ransdell and many Western students while attending last Saturday’s baseball game.
Gordon, a solid verbal commitment, said the visit was the best of his three so far.
“Everything just went perfectly,” he said. “I got to bond with the coaches a lot more and I just got a real good vibe when I was down there.”
Gordon was able to take the court in multiple pickup games with the Toppers, and he said he played at point guard even though he plays shooting guard for St. Patrick’s High School in Plainfield, N.J.
Gordon said he was able to keep up with the team pretty well despite playing a position that’s relatively unfamiliar to him.
He said although he played point guard in the pickup games, that didn’t necessarily mean that’s what he’d play when he comes to Western. Freshman guards Jamal Crook and Caden Dickerson will still be on the Hill when he arrives, so Gordon said he’d likely remain a shooting guard.
Gordon will officially be able to sign with Western in November during the NCAA’s Early Signing Period — something he said he’s ready to get over with.
“Once I get that out of the way, I won’t have to worry about any other schools calling my phone because I’m committed to Western,” he said. “Once I sign my name on the dotted line, that will be a special day for me.”
Although there’s technically time for Gordon to change his mind before the signing period, he said he doesn’t see that happening.
“My verbal (commitment) is solid,” he said. “I just can’t see myself anywhere else. I’m not going nowhere.”
Gordon told the Herald back in March that he was having doubts about his decision to play at Western, but that his latest visit coupled with several talks with Head Coach McDonald helped remove any doubts he may have been having.
He said the two discussed what each other expects when Gordon arrives and they seemed to come to a consensus.
“I may have had my ups and downs, but they stayed on me, which I wanted them to do,” he said. “They just told me that I’d have to come in and work for everything, which is what I wanted to hear. I don’t want anything given to me – I want to work for everything.
“If they would’ve told me that I would be the starter right away, then that’s when people come in with the mentality that they don’t have to work hard. So I’m kind of glad that he didn’t tell me that and said that I need to work hard when I get there.”
Gordon said there’s a chance that he could make another visit sometime this summer — possibly in June.
His high school season is over but he’ll now compete in AAU tournaments with his team, the Long Island Lightning, based out of New York. Gordon’s team will take the court this weekend at the Pittsburgh Jamfest.